Al Moore & Tawiah on their album Ertha
The artiste couple performed for the very first time in India at In Residence, an event curated by G5A Foundation with BNP Paribas.
The music album Ertha is the first collaborative effort by British poet Al Moore and alternative soul musician Tawiah that depicts the journey of a soul through the universe. The artiste couple performed for the very first time in India at In Residence, an event curated by G5A Foundation with BNP Paribas. We speak to them about their concept album and more.
Tell us about Ertha.
Tawiah: Ertha is a concept album, a collaborative work through a process of storytelling and musical interpretation. In this series of original writings and poems by Al Moore, which has been a spiritual journey for her, we wanted to highlight the story of the human journey as one of “getting lost to be found”, suggesting that, despite unavoidable sufferings, there is hope. I have composed music and the album depicts Ertha’s life from birth to death; her journey represents the individual and the collective.
Tawiah, why do you call yourself an alternative soul musician?
My music draws from a wide range of influences and doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre. While it may not necessarily be traditional soul music, I believe it comes from the soul and can dee ply move listeners.
Is this your first collaboration?
Al Moore: Yes, while Tawiah and I have collaborated previously, it was on a very different project. For Tawiah’s debut record, the music was already written and I came on at the end to do the artwork and show design. However, this collaboration is different. We wanted to work together from the conception stage, starting with the narrative and the story behind each song. We decided to work together on this project to ensure that the narrative was present from the beginning, followed by the music.
How does being a queer artiste in today’s time influence your music and performance?
Tawiah: All of my feelings and life experiences are expressed in my music, as a default of being who I am. Everything is expressed in my sound. People who are living a similar life will resonate with my music and connect with it.
Al Moore: Especially in the last track of our previous album Mother’s Prayer, Tawiah’s mum not accepting her homosexuality resonates with a huge audience. For example, recently, a child asked me if I’d always been gay. And I wondered what to say because when I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to connect with that part of my being. While growing up, it wasn’t okay to be gay, and hence those thoughts were rejected or ignored. For Tawiah, she was not accepted as gay her whole life. So, I think her music has been a really big part of her healing journey. She has channelled a lot of her pain and emotion in her music, and hence her music is heavily influenced.